Saturday, October 31, 2015

Psalm 107:7

He led them by a straight way, till they reached a city to dwell in.
He put your feet on a wonderful road that took you straight to a good place to live.

This journey does not feel like a straight way or a wonderful road.  Maybe in retrospect I'll see that the way was straight, but right now it feels like I tried to follow the detour signs and got lost.  I have been struggling with this verse for days and I can't seem to get farther than that. 

Lord, lead me by a straight wonderful road to a good place to live.  Thy will be done.  Amen.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Psalm 106:47

Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to thy holy name and glory in thy praise.
Save us, God, our God!  Gather us back out of exile so we can give thanks to your holy name and join in the glory when you are praised!

According to my study Bible, this psalms tells "the story of God's great deeds,"  and stresses "the perversity and obtuseness of the people." Obtuse means "not able to understand something obvious." This makes me think of all the times I think or say that I don't understand why I have episodes of depression, just as the people of the Exodus didn't understand why they were in the desert.  I'm really saying, "Why me?" But the question "why me" does not bring us back out of exile; it keeps us in exile.  In the exile of "why me" there is no acceptance and no action.  This psalm tells us to let ourselves be gathered up out of exile and into God's mercy.

Lord, bring me out of the exile of depression and the "perversity and obtuseness" of asking, "Why me?"  Gather me into your mercy.  Amen.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Psalm 105:4

Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually!
Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works; be alert for signs of his presence.

This psalm tells us that one way to keep our eyes open for God is to study what he has already done for his people.  The psalm tells the history of the nation of Israel; of Abraham, Joseph, and Moses.  The story reminds us that God does not put us on a linear or ever-upward path.  God was faithful when Joseph was in prison and when he was overseer of Egypt.  Reading the Bible stories of God's faithfulness reminds us of his faithfulness to us.  It reminds me of God's faithfulness to me.  God is present and working in my life, in the prison of depression and as overseer of my life. 

Lord, always help me remember that you are working and present in my life always.  Remind me of the stories of your faithfulness, so that I can recognize your faithfulness in my life.  Amen.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Psalm 104:14-15

Thou dost cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread to strengthen man's heart.
Oh yes, God brings grain from the land, wine to make people happy, their faces glowing with health, a people well-fed and hearty.

This is a "Hymn to God the creator."   God provides creation with everything it needs and then goes beyond that to provide the means of gladdening and strengthening our hearts.  My heart needs gladdening and strengthening.   There is one means God uses that I have trouble appreciating:  time.  I want my heart gladdened and strengthened like it's a product and not a process.  I want my heart glad and strong for good.  There are verses about time in this psalm: the day, the night, and the seasons.   Time is God's creation and it is a means to gladden and strengthen my heart.

Lord, let me appreciate the time you provide for me to heal from depression.  Let me pay attention to the ways you gladden and strengthen my heart.  Amen.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Psalm 103:6

The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet.

There are a lot of fitting verses in this psalm.  Bless the Lord who forgives sins, heals diseases, redeems you from hell, and many more.  I chose this one because in Psalm 102 I was brought to my knees, so it seems important to know that I will be put back on my feet.  See, I told you a few psalms and a few years ago that I was over the depression and here it is back again.   The lessons I learned have to be learned again, and again, and again.  I'm not starting from scratch, though.  I now see the signs earlier and take care of myself a little better and, so far, avoid the major depression I experienced before.   I will find myself back on my feet.

Lord, you bring us to our knees to teach us the lessons we need to learn.  Please use these lessons to bring me back on my feet, living the full life you intend for me.  Amen.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Psalm 102:23

He has broken my strength in mid-course; he has shortened my days.
God sovereignly brought me to my knees, he cut me down in my prime.

When is it time to keep fighting, and when is it time to give up?  This verse makes me think of the adage, "When God closes a door, he opens a window." Good old Merriam-Webster says a sovereign is "one that exercises supreme authority..."  The problem is, some of us are not so good at discerning where God's supreme authority is leading us.  I am not so good at discernment period.  In other words, there's not a window in sight!  The God I trust does not bring me to my knees just to exercise his supreme authority.  I don't know where that window is, or where it leads, but maybe I'll see it when I stop banging on the door.

Lord, my strength is broken.  You have brought me to my knees.  Let me trust in your love for me and discern your path for me.  Amen.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Psalm 101:2

I will give heed to the way that is blameless.  Oh when wilt thou come to me?  I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; 
I'm finding my way down the road of right living; but how long before you show up?  I'm doing the very best I can, and I'm doing it at home, where it counts.

This is a psalm about justice, and justice begins at home.  It is difficult to balance treating depression with family, friends, and work.  Here I am, an introvert with depression.  I need to be alone to recharge.  I've hit a point in my life where my energy is limited and I'm no longer able to keep plugging along without risking a relapse.  So where should my energy go?  Work?  Relationships?  This verse says home is where it counts, a definite vote for relationships.  Yet I'm in a profession that requires a lot of energy, and home is more forgiving than work.  Nevertheless, this verse says the scale should tip in favor of relationships.

Lord, a balanced life is so difficult to achieve.  Bless my attempts at discerning your word and your will for me.  Let me always remember to do the very best I can at home, where it counts.  Amen.